Sober living

The Classification of Alcoholics PMC

These individuals generally start drinking at the age of 17 and develop alcohol dependence as early as the age of 32. This category is highly likely to have antisocial personality disorders, depression, generalized anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, and a family history of alcoholism. They also suffer from high rates of cigarette, cocaine, and marijuana addiction. Babor and colleagues (1992) based their typology on the assumption that the heterogeneity among alcoholics is attributable to a complex interaction among genetic, biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors.

Consequently, no single characteristic distinguishes alcoholics from non-alcoholics, and separate homogeneous subtypes differ by more than just one defining characteristic. The researchers therefore reviewed the alcoholism typology literature since the mid-19th century to identify defining typological characteristics that combined could accurately describe alcoholic five types of alcoholics subtypes. Using cluster analysis, the investigators identified two types of alcoholics who differ consistently across 17 defining characteristics, including age of onset, severity of dependence, and family history of alcoholism. The two types also differ with respect to treatment outcome, with type B alcoholics more likely to relapse to heavy drinking.

Intermediate Familial Alcoholic

Individuals who classify as functional alcoholics often struggle with mental health, and many individuals in this category commonly report depression and other mood disorders as a result of their behaviour. Different types of alcoholics become so due to environmental, social or, personal circumstances and those in the chronic severe subtype category make up only 9% of those who are dependent on alcohol in the US. Research indicates that these are typically men who are in their middle years, perhaps divorced and using illegal drugs. Previous efforts to identify alcoholism subtypes focused primarily on individuals who were hospitalized or otherwise receiving treatment for their alcoholism. Thus, a substantial proportion of people with alcoholism were not represented in the samples previously used to define subtypes of this disease.

five types of alcoholics

Other studies compared alcoholics with and without coexistent psychopathologies. The prescientific period of alcoholism typologies roughly extends from William Carpenter’s description in 1850 of different types of “oinomania,” or wine mania (Carpenter 1850), to the psychoanalytic and character-based theories of the 1930’s. In many countries, alcoholism emerged as a major public health problem during the 19th century, just when medicine and psychiatry were developing as modern professional guilds. Thus, it is no coincidence that some of the leading physicians in countries such as France, England, Germany, and the United States devoted considerable attention to studying alcoholism. According to a review of the world alcohol literature, 39 classifications of alcoholics were developed between 1850 and 1941 (Babor and Lauerman 1986).

Functional Subtype

They tend to prefer self-help groups, detoxification programs, specialty treatment programs and individual private health care providers. Young adult alcohol dependents are 2.5 times more likely to be male than female. About 75% have never been married, 36.5% are still in school, and 54% work full time. Approximately 22% have a first- or second-degree family member who is also dependent on alcohol. Compared to other types of alcoholics, young adults are less likely to have psychiatric disorders or legal problems. Chronic severe alcoholics include the highest percentage of people struggling with co-occurring psychiatric disorders and other substance abuse issues.

In fact, there are five distinct types of alcoholics, each with its own set of characteristics and risk factors. Functional alcoholism can be challenging to identify, as individuals may hide their drinking habits and maintain a facade of normalcy. If you suspect that you or someone you know may be struggling with functional alcoholism, it’s crucial to seek help from healthcare professionals or addiction specialists. Genetic factors play a significant role in alcoholism, and individuals with a family history of alcoholism are more likely to develop alcohol use disorders. A study by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) establishes five different types of alcoholics. Each category represents a unique group, but they are all determined by the same factors.

Severity Levels of Alcohol Use Disorder

Individuals with this subtype have a higher likelihood of having first-degree relatives with alcoholism, indicating a genetic component to the disorder. They are also more likely to experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking, indicating a physical dependence on alcohol. Treatment for the Young Adult Subtype often involves a combination of therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, pharmacotherapy, and addressing any underlying mental health disorders. The third of the five different types of alcoholics accounts for approximately 19% of those who have a dependency on alcohol in the U.S. By contrast; these tend to be adults who are working and who are usually in their mid-years. They often do not consider drinking to be a problem and are often in denial.

Heavy drinkers aren’t necessarily alcoholics, but may be “almost alcoholics” – Harvard Health

Heavy drinkers aren’t necessarily alcoholics, but may be “almost alcoholics”.

Posted: Fri, 21 Nov 2014 08:00:00 GMT [source]

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